After my time exploring the coast south of Sydney, I arrived in Melbourne (apparently the world’s most liveable city) and I was ready for some cultural treats. I had the best of all arrivals, since some good old friends live in the city and their hospitality is some of the best I have ever experienced. My stay in Melbourne can’t be considered the normal approach for my travel project. I arrived and started picking up on some great things my friends and people I met did. I tried to be helpful with my skills without expecting anything in return, but getting much more then in return that could be agreed on beforehand, from showing me around the city, to great food and places to stay.
I provided some website support for my friend Claire from Nikita Handmade. She sells beautiful patchwork yoga bags made from recycled fabric and empowers impoverished women in Cambodia. I helped with some photography at the great Stacks On Festival organised by Culture Jam – great event crew, creating beautiful themed parties in Melbourne – be sure to head to their website to see if something is on if you’re in town. Then there are Heath and Justin – who run an online shop called Forest Superfoods, bringing you all the organic good stuff you usually don’t find in supermarkets and that make your body happy. Each time you place an order they plant a native Australian tree. Justin also runs a website called endthewar.com.au, focussing on spreading information on the senseless war on drugs, pointing to articles and information about the topic. By the way, this is a great documentary I enjoyed watching on the topic. I also met Zak from Zebra Dream Coconut Icecream, who makes some of the very best organic ice-cream in the world and helped with some mobile optimisation on his website. Zebra Dream is coming to stores soon and if you’re in Melbourne area look out for the Zebra Dream Icecream Bike on festivals and markets, you won’t be dissapointed. Last but not least there where Davide and Laura, planning to travel the planet documenting important causes on video. I helped find a name for their idea, tie down the concept and set up a WordPress install with a basic theme so they can start publishing their news and fundraising campaigns. We called their project “Reel Motive” and they’ll be travelling to a natural reserve in Ecuador soon, aiming to film threatened Jaguars, hopefully with a lot more coming up. It felt natural to be helpful and all these endeavours impressed me with their sustainable and conscious approach. While my new friends need to sustain themselves from these ideas they can’t but run a “good” business or project. Good things for good people.
Other then that, for me Melbourne proved to be a real home and I made a ton of new friends. The city has great bars and restaurants, amazing coffee, a great music and arts scene, good parties and lots of beautiful people! If you visit Australia and like a quirky and exciting city, don’t miss out on Melbourne. During my stay I also took some time to build a new feature on my website: click on the “Map” button on the very top of the site to see all my articles placed on a custom google map, easier to explore and to make sense of the places I’ve been to. As usual, some photos I took while wandering the city are attached. After the city life, I travelled up north to the Australian Outback to see some empty spaces and there are some great shots in the pipeline. See you soon!